Functional Trainer: Holistic Health Series Part 1

When considering your health and fitness you have multiple choices available.

When considering your health and fitness you have multiple choices available.  Where to start, what area to work on, who to see, how often…..? Taking a ‘Holistic’ view is essential to this, but what does it mean?  Over the next few weeks we will discuss Holistic Health and how these principles can guide you to making decisions about how to go about improving your health and how to put together an approach that works.

Health Goals
Improving health and fitness, enhancing quality of life and increasing happiness means different things to different people.  Those who visit ‘Functional Trainer’ usually have goals that include weight management, pain reduction, cardiovascular fitness, athletic improvement, increasing strength and injury rehabilitation.  What are yours?  What do you want to be better at in your life or for your sport?  When making your goal make sure that it is something achievable and realistic and really will make a difference to your life. 

All too often the main barrier to success of achievement is that it is non-specific to individual.  Strange how this may seem, what seems to happen is that we embark on fitness programmes, workouts and exercises that bare no resemblance to the goal we want to realise.  It is not specific to us and it is a shame that so much time, money and effort is spent so ineffectively.

Why Holistic?
In addition to having a focus and goal, the next (and usually missed out) step is to work out want you need to do.  This is more of an issue in society than it has ever been due to the industry marketing and misleading information out there.  Alarmingly around 70% of people who come for a consultation at ‘Functional Trainer’, have no real concept of holistic health.  This means that, whilst they have their goal of weight loss or increased power, their awareness of what it will take to get there is very narrow.  Belief may be that it will just be ‘cardio’ or purely doing anything in the gym.

Holistic means that we will view things as a whole.  In the case of health and fitness, we will look at the whole individual.  Only when we do this and acknowledge that the human body is a system of systems will we really reach our true potential.  Holistic health can include the Physical, Psychological and Social aspects and involves factors like exercise, movement, nutrition, hydration, emotional, mental, toxicity, stress and many more.

To illustrate this consider an athlete who wants to improve sprinting power.  If they only concentrated on the physical side through weight training and did not acknowledge the influence of good nutrition, recovery and sleep (to name a few), then they would unfortunately never reach their athletic potential.   What about the person who wants to eliminate their back pain?  All the ‘best’ exercises in the world may not help without the significant reduction of stressors in this particular person’s life.

Holistic Health Series
The following weeks of Holistic Health articles are designed to give an overview and delve into how this approach is essential to everybody, whatever their goal.  The series will include:

:: Holistic Approach to Lower Back Pain
:: Holistic Approach to Neck Pain
:: Holistic Approach to Weight Loss
:: Holistic Approach to Athletic Performance
:: Holistic Approach to Injury Management
:: Holistic Approach to Personal Training

Furthermore, if readers have any queries they would like answered then do not hesitate to contact directly using the below details.  Whol-istic principles are the hallmark of good practice.

‘Functional Trainer’ provides Corrective Exercise Coaching, The Bowen Technique and Metabolic Typing ® Nutrition.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer